Circle of Champions: Triple H meets Make-A-Wish's Justin Branch in Motown
DETROIT -- Monday night, in the locker room area of Motown's Joe Louis Arena, Make-A-Wish's Justin Branch was acting like, well, a 10-year-old. The Bowie, Md., native was playing with his best friend, Julian Walters. The "True Champ" was in good spirits; only hours away from seeing Raw live for the first time and minutes from meeting his favorite Superstar, WWE Champion Triple H.
"I've been waiting years for this moment," the fourth grade honor roll student said with an ear-to-ear grin. "I was in shock when I heard that Triple H would be granting my wish. I've liked Triple H ever since I was five years old because he's nice to people, he has a lot of fun and he breaks the rules, too."
The boy informed his father, Robert Higgins, that he had all his questions for the WWE Champion ready, and was very excited for their meeting, just as The Game strutted into the room. The 10-year-old was nearly speechless when the 12-time World Champion signed photos and presented him with a brand-new "Triple H Hammer" T-shirt. Branch suddenly became shy when Triple H asked him what he would like for him to write on his new T-shirt.
"You have to speak up, Justin," joked Triple H. "Do you have any questions for me?"
After some hesitation, Branch asked the 12-time Champion about his friendship with his former DX partner Shawn Michaels, who was also scheduled to meet with Branch before Raw, and then posed for several pictures with The Game.
"Kids sometimes talk up a tough game before you go in there. Then, when they get in front of you, the moment takes over and they don't say much," Triple H explained. "Then when you leave, you know they say, ‘Man, I should've said this. I should've said that.' You want them to get the experience while you're there, but sometimes they get so nervous and you almost have to beat it out of them."
The Game acknowledged the significance with meeting the "True Champ" in the arena named after Joe Louis, arguably the greatest boxing champion of all-time.
"Anytime you can come into an arena like this, where so many big things have happened over the years, it just makes it a completely different feeling and adds a special quality to it," Triple H said. "I think meeting Justin here and knowing how hard he's just makes it that much more special. Justin's a great kid. Hopefully tonight's show puts a smile on his face."
"Meeting Triple H was da bomb! He took the time out to meet me, his No. 1 fan," an excited Branch responded. "Everybody thinks he's a bad guy, because he uses a sledgehammer as his best weapon, but I know for sure that he's not a bad guy at all."